VeloSano Weekend – Bike to Cure Event

Miscellaneous

This weekend was Cleveland Clinic’s bike to cure event, VeloSano.

My mom and I both rode the 50-mile challenge. Talk about a GREAT event! From the race volunteers, to the food, to the course itself, this was a well run and thought out event. AND even better – 100% of the money raised went to cancer research at Cleveland Clinic.

velosano1The minimum fundraising requirement for the 50-mile challenge was $1,000 each. So with my mom and I both riding we had to raise $2,000. Even before signing up, her and I were both a little concerned if we would be able to raise that kind of money, but after much though about it we decided to just go for it. If we had to pay the remaining balance ourselves then we at least knew it was going to a great cause.

SO after four months of fundraising – we went into VeloSano weekend with $1,638 raised for cancer research. I am completely shocked by how much we were able to raise! Yes we will still have to pay the remainder ourselves, but that is still a ton of money and my heart is full after so many friends and family members stepped forward to donate to our cause. We are so incredibly grateful and blown away by the amount of support we received! To show our support, we asked donors (if they wanted) to share the names or initials of loved ones affected by cancer and we rode with the names on our bikes as a reminder to why we were out there.

velosano-4The weekend took off on Friday night at the VeloSano kick-off party. It was located at Mall B downtown. This event did such a great job at getting everyone excited for the next day’s festivities.They had all you can eat and drink (of the adult variety too) and it was catered by the amazing Zack Bruell Events (but seriously BEST FOOD EVER)! They also had a mini expo with tons of great vendors giving away all sorts of things and doing demos and games. There were also two large tents to sit under and listen to an amazing band and eat and just enjoy yourself. The weather was so insanely perfect too.

The fiance on a virtual cycling ride.

The fiance on a virtual cycling ride.

photo-booth-picVeloSano offered bike racking on Friday night so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting our bikes downtown early on Saturday. This was such a great idea and we were glad at 7AM on Saturday when we didn’t need to worry about loading and hauling our bikes around.

velosano-pig1

The VeloSano pig they had walking around Friday’s kick off party!

Some of the doctors and staff came up on stage where the band was playing and talked about the event. They also played inspiring patient stories on two large screens facing the audience. It was so humbling and inspiring to know that the money we raised was going to help patients with cancer.

It was an amazing experience and more than a few times throughout the night I made note of how excited and thankful I was to be a part of it.

Also included in our registration was an awesome swag bag full of great stuff. A bike light, a water bottle, tons of free samples, a great VeloSano jersey and much more!

This was the aftermath of us opening up our swag bag. Tons of cool stuff!

This was the aftermath of us opening up our swag bag. Tons of cool stuff!

On Saturday the 50-mile ride took off at 8:30AM. We got down there around 7:30 and had time to get our bikes, eat a bagel, take some pictures and then line up. We were so excited! The race started and we winded through downtown Cleveland for a good few miles. This part was so fun as a lot of people were out and about cheering and my mom and I just road along chatting.

Getting ready to take off on our ride.

Getting ready to take off on our ride!

The ride itself went fairly fast and although there were a few good hills, I found it to be a decent and fun course. The weather was beautiful and sunny, pushing 85 degrees. I had no complaints and barely noticed it (I do well in the heat).

My Garmin tracked the course at 52 miles, which is fine, but I was a little bummed to be done. I still wanted to ride! After the ride we had more amazing food and enjoyed a few beers in the sun. Talk about a great day!

Already I am sad it’s over and already I am thinking about doing it next year again. The only thing is the fundraising. It’s A LOT. I know it goes to a great cause, I just don’t like hounding people for donations. We were SO lucky that so many people stepped up and did donate after a few Facebook posts and emails. If you haven’t donated yet and want to, we are still fundraising the rest of our $2,000 until October 1. Please donate here.

Overall I would give VeloSano an A+. The event was outstanding on every level of support and it all went for a great cause.

This weekend I have the Cleveland Triathlon – my FIRST Olympic distance! I am nervous about the swim, but I’ve read that since we are swimming in the harbor, it’s usually pretty calm. I think it will be a great event and it’s all located downtown, plus the weather is supposed to be nice. The biggest thing I have to remember going into Sunday’s race is CONFIDENCE. I know I can complete every single leg of the race and there’s no time pressure considering I’ve never done this distance before. When I get too caught up in racing and competition and nerves I have to remind myself that triathlons are supposed to be fun. I like doing this. It forces you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel alive. Why wouldn’t I want to experience that?!

Life is GOOD. Plus I road my bike to work today so by 6:30PM I will have gotten in just over 30 miles. Seems like a pretty good little Thursday to me. Oh and 37 days until we get married ūüôā

commute-to-work

Water break on my ride in this morning.

 

Biathlon Beginnings

Miscellaneous

This past weekend was my first running + biking event — the 2013 Bellefaire JCB Biathlon.

The event was a 5K run (3.1 miles) followed by a 12.9 mile bike ride through the beautiful cities of Shaker Heights, Beachwood and Mayfield. I convinced the boyfriend to compete with me. (FYI he loves when I force him to do events like this. Just kidding, he enjoys it. Most of the time at least.) biathonStart

The run was smooth and fast and we finished in about 27 minutes. Pacing ourselves at 9:23 was a good idea since we had a nice little bike ride ahead of us. The ride was challenging, but awesome. There was one gruesome hill that had bikers dropping like flys. The BF and I powered through it though, even high-fiving at every mile. (We continued this tradition from our first half marathon together back in May.)

Overall our time for the entire event¬†was 1:27 something. The BF snuck ahead of me¬†and technically beat me by¬†8 seconds. Of¬†course me being Miss. Competitive/Must-Win-Everything didn’t like that 8 second lead. (In fact I still don’t like it.) BiathonPicnic

Post-race was a giant picnic with TONS of food. I’m pretty sure I ate back all the calories I burnt in the race on the food I ate afterwards. That’s OK though since it was my cheat meal for the week. Let me tell you how delicious it was to eat a pulled-pork sandwich on white bread. In fact, I even went a little wild and stole a bite or two of the boyfriend’s donut he was munching on.

BiathonMeWhile we were enjoying our food, an announcer came on and¬†started the¬†awards. I was sitting back against a table and had only just¬†whispered “I wish I had a medal to hang up” to the¬†BF when suddenly the announcer called my name over the speaker!¬†Everyone I was with screamed and cheered as I ran up there. I had no idea! I went up there and to my huge¬†surprise received a congratulatory first place medal for my age group (20-24). BiathonAJME

Winning that medal was the cherry on top of an amazing race. The boyfriend and I added¬†it to our “We’ll be back every year for the rest of our life” event check-list.¬†At some point I would love to do a duathlon, which is running biking and running again. I think the next¬†event like that around here¬†though¬†is next August. I guess we’ll¬†just have to¬†wait and see what happens!¬†

Next up on¬†my “train¬†all winter race all summer”¬†is a 10K on Sunday at my¬†favorite winery! (Find more information about¬†the Vineyard Run.) The¬†race is through the scenic grape vineyards and has mostly trails, plus you get a FREE glass of wine post-race. I mean, what’s not to love about this event?

There’s a few smaller races I’m thinking about doing in September, but the BIG race coming up on September 28th is Akron*dun dun¬†dun*

I still have not decided if I’m doing the full or half. On a good day I¬†can run 17 miles, but I’m near death after. The fear of having to run almost another 10 miles after that is really stopping me from signing up, but the fear of having to wait until next summer to have the chance to run a full again is¬†scaring me too.¬†I know that if I do the half, it’ll be easy and I’ll wish the entire time I did the full. On the other hand if I do the full I’ll A.) Be alone and B.) Want to die. I can’t decide and time is quickly¬†running out. I don’t want the fear to stop me, but what’s the smart decision here?

Am I only half crazy? Or fully crazy? That is the real question.

Chasing the Dog Days of Summer.

Miscellaneous

What a fabulous weekend! I have had four glorious days off work — including tomorrow, too! Woo-hooooo. I have been quite the little outdoorsy girl on my mini vacay. I have been obsessed with squeezing the last remaining summer out of the next couple weeks, so I took my little break very seriously.

This past week I was on the cabbage soup cleanse, except not so much cabbage soup, however. I nixed the soup after day three, (it’s so terrible) and was still able to lose seven pounds — also while cutting the cleanse shorts two days! I have a goal weight in mind and to motivate myself, I bought a very expensive (but very pretty) Michael Kors bag. My reward and deal to myself is that I get the bag when I reach my goal weight. Stay tuned for that because this old girl still has six more pounds to shed. Until then, the pretty little bag stays hidden in the boyfriend’s closet at his place. (Cue the sad music.)

On Saturday, the rents and I made an adventure out of driving to Huntington Beach in Bay Village. The beach is award winning, clean, beautiful and offers a stunning view of downtown Cleveland in the distance. We stopped in Downtown Willoughby for dinner afterwards (hence, cutting my week-long cleanse off.) I opted for a burger and a beer, which was not to go unnoticeably awesome after eating straight fruits and veggies all week.

Dad and I just being clowns like usual.

Dad and I just being clowns like usual.

On Sunday, I was determined to go for a long bike ride to switch up my work out. After failing to get a companion to join me in the light rain that day, I set out on my own. I ended up being super happy about not having anyone with me because I decided to ride 27 miles and didn’t have anyone else to worry about. I cranked up my iPod and enjoyed myself. Note to self: Do that more often.

About half way through my ride I stopped for a photo opt.

About half way through my ride I  stopped for a photo opt.

Sunday also called for a BBQ at the boyfriend’s house, which was a great time filled with Dance Revolution Two and a lot of trampoline bouncing. I felt like a little kid and loved every minute of it.

Today, Labor Day, I joined a group of 15 people on a canoeing trip. Half the group opted for a 7 mile kayak ride while the other a 10 mile canoe ride. Feeling like my normal superwoman self, I chose the 10 mile canoe.

And wow, did I underestimate that! Canoeing 10 miles is HARD. We looked up online how many calories each of us burned (my group had 9) and the calculator said I burned around 2,500 calories. I believe it too because my shoulders, back and arms are killing me! Great workout though, but really tough, especially with the hot sun beating down on you.

Some of the fearless canoers

Some of the fearless canoers.

The boyfriend and I let the canoe coast while we ate fruit salad. We coasted into these lily pads, which our guide kindly let us know was probably infested with leeches.

The boyfriend and I let the canoe coast while we ate fruit salad. We coasted into these lily pads, which our guide kindly let us know was probably infested with leeches.

Of course I also had to get up early and run this morning before the canoeing adventure. So on the ride home I convinced everyone how many calories we had all burned and tempted everyone into stopping for pizza and beer. The calories were well spent.

Tomorrow I start back on my healthy eating though. After walking to get ice cream with my mom after we got home from canoeing, I stopped up at the grocery store and bought fruits and veggies with a heavy heart. Except I am kinda excited to try and get to my goal weight this week because I want my Michael Kors bag so, so, so bad! It was a good cheat couple of days, but back to the grind tomorrow. I’m getting up early to run seven miles up on the all-purpose trail and then stopping up to see my grandma, since I am of course the favorite grandchild…

Now I am sitting here in my pajamas drinking wine after a great couple of days. We are feeling the aftermath of hurricane Isaac tonight up here in Northeast, Ohio. I know I’ll sleep well tonight even with the storm.

Hope your weekend and Labor Day was as well spent as mine — on both time spent doing fun things with friends and family and calories spent on great food!

Keep running!